Two 30-minute films on Arizona’s opioid epidemic – “Hooked: Tracking Heroin’s Hold on Arizona,” and “Hooked RX: From Prescription to Addiction” – will be shown at a community forum for this special event. The highly acclaimed investigative documentaries were produced by students and faculty at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The program will also include a panel discussion on the ramifications of growing heroin and opioid abuse. Members of the panel will include medical and emergency workers, law-enforcement officials, journalists, recovering addicts and drug treatment specialists.
The event is hosted by The Haven, which provides outpatient and residential services in Tucson for women recovering from alcohol and drug dependency. According to a report released by the Arizona Department of Health Services in June, heroin deaths have tripled in Arizona since 2012 and four of five new heroin users start by misusing prescription painkillers. “The number of overdoses and deaths from heroin and opioid abuse is growing at alarming rates,” said Margaret Higgins, Ph.D., executive director of The Haven. “It’s important this issue is brought into the light.”
The community forum will kick off with opening remarks from Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. Also participating in the event is Sean Logan, who grew up in Tucson, and played a key role in the making of both “Hooked” documentaries while a student at ASU. The first “Hooked” film, which first aired in 2015, received a national Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize for broadcast journalism. After that success, a second film was undertaken and was first shown in January of this year. Logan, a Salpointe High School grad, served as a primary photographer and reporter on the first film, and was chief videographer, director and editor on the second.